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The VICE Guide to Right Now

Very Good Dog Refuses to Be a Pawn for the Surveillance State

Here's to Lulu, who—unlike so many of us grinding away at our soul-crushing jobs—somehow managed to escape.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Photo via the CIA / Twitter

A few weeks ago, Lulu the black Lab was tapped for the CIA's 2017 K9 unit, tasked with the valiant, but sometimes depressing job of sniffing out explosives in airports, brutalist government buildings, and other dangerous, grim locales. It was dark stuff, but she didn't really have a choice in the matter—she is, after all, a dog. Once she'd started training, the CIA intended her to finish, becoming "the first line of defense against explosive threats."


But on Wednesday, it seemed as if things weren't going so well for Lulu at the CIA. The organization tweeted a number of different photos of her at work, looking tired and sad, like someone had just eaten her dog lunch out of the communal kitchen.

Apparently, Lulu wasn't psyched to be spending her days staring into chrome canisters that, ostensibly, held some sort of explosive powder capable of taking out a room full of innocent people. In a flurry of tweets, the CIA announced that Lulu couldn't care less about sniffing for bombs, and that she would be let go from her government job, effective immediately.

"All dogs, just like most human students, have good days and bad days when learning something new," the CIA wrote on its blog, which is apparently a thing. "The same is true during our puppy classes. A pup might begin acting lazy, guessing where the odors are, or just showing a general disregard for whatever is being taught at the moment. Usually it lasts for a day, maybe two."

But for Lulu, the issue never went away. The dog just couldn't stomach the thought of spending each day tackling humanity's darkest problems, sticking her nose in suitcases and backpacks and shoeboxes, hoping against hope that a bomb wasn't lurking inside. And can you really blame her? The gentle beast just wanted to live a normal dog's life, doing all the things dogs do: frolicking through some field, splashing around in a water bowl, getting its ears rubbed.

After the CIA let her go, Lulu's former handler decided to bring her home. He freed her from the grim, bureaucratic hellscape she'd been consigned to, and welcomed her into the lovely, carefree world that ordinary civilian dogs everywhere know and love.

Here's to Lulu, who—unlike so many of us lowly grunts grinding away at our soul-crushing jobs each day—somehow managed to escape, to run, tail wagging and snout sniffing, into paradise. Congratulations, Lulu. You're a good dog.

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